Science Express flagged off to cover 34 Cities in the Country

“Climate Change a Big Threat to Mankind, can be tackled through Collaborative Efforts and we have to take steps in a concerted and collective way to address it,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said at the launch of Science Express. Ninth Phase of Science Express to Criss-Cross India till September this Year

NEW DELHI: Three Ministers jointly flagged off the 9th phase of Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) from Safderjung Railway Station here today. While Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Anil Madhav Dave and Union Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan were present at the railway station, Union Railway Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhu, joined the flagging off event through videoconferencing.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Dave said that in future, the Science Express should reach out to 6.5 lakh villages of the country. He emphasised that till the train is transformed into a peoples’ movement and a vehicle to motivate people to take individual actions and initiatives to fight climate change, it will not succeed in its endeavours on the ground and will only be reduced to becoming a point of discussions in seminars. “What should each individual do, what should the governments do, what should the society do, everyone’s role has to be determined”, Shri Dave pointed out. The Minister highlighted that transparency in work and every pie of taxpayer’s money must be utilized in the right measure and past efforts have to be continued to ensure that the money reaches the people.

Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and Harsh Vardhan flagged off the Science Express Climate Action Special train

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Climate Change is a big threat for the mankind and we can tackle this through collaborative efforts. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, India played a key role in initiating Climate Action Plan during Paris meet. He also said that Science Express will not just convey the message about climate change, but also generate dialogue and discussion on this burning issue. Science Express will embark on its journey of over 19000 km to cover 68 locations across India till September 8, 2017 and is expected to attract 30 lakh visitors. Climate Action Special will spread awareness on this key issue and augment our efforts to ensure a better future.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that four more such trains must be run in the coming years to develop the train into an even bigger movement. The Minister also said that the importance of Climate Change can be gauged from the fact that it is the only theme that has been chosen for two consecutive years for Science Express. Recalling his visit to San Fransisco to represent India at two meetings on Mission Innovation and Clean Energy Ministerial last year, the Minister said that 21 big nations of the world acknowledged that led by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, India has taken unparalleled initiatives in the field of Clean Energy, Mission Innovation, or Climate Change and that India has the ability and the strength to lead the world.

He added that the role of school students is most critical in making the Science Express a peoples’ movement. Recounting the statistics, the Minister said over 1.5 crore visitors and students from 33,801 schools have visited the Science Express till now. The Minister also lauded the role and contribution of all departments and agencies at the Centre and States, as also the educators aboard the train in the running of Science Express.

Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ajay Narayan Jha, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Shri Ashutosh Sharma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Amita Prasad, Member, Railway Board, Shri Ravindra Gupta were among those present on the occasion. Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ajay Narayan Jha gave the welcome address and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Amita Prasad delivered the vote of thanks.

After today’s flagging off, the SECAS will be open for public viewing at Delhi Cantonment Railway Station on February 18-19, following which it will embark upon its journey across the country. SECAS II will run from February 17 to September 8, 2017 (See Schedule), over 19, 000 km during which it will be exhibited at 68 stations across India. The exhibition will convey a message about Climate Change and will also be a good opportunity to generate dialogue and discussion.

At each halt of SECAS, activities are planned to engage visitors across different age groups to reinforce its message. An exciting and much sought-after Outreach Programme is also conducted in local schools/institutions, along with activities on the railway platforms. In addition, informative take-away material has been made available for wider distribution amongst schools and visitors.

DST has entrusted Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC), Ahmedabad with the task of managing the SECAS across India. VASCSC’s team of qualified, trained and highly motivated Science Communicators travelling with the train explain and interpret the exhibition, answers queries, facilitate the visitors and conduct complementary activities.

The exhibition is open to all, but primarily targets students and teachers. More information is available on the website www.sciencexpress.in. For visit to the exhibition, an email can be sent to sciencexpress@gmail.com, or the team aboard the train can be contacted on 09428405407. School students can participate in the JOS Lab in small batches of up to 20 students, by prior registration.

There is no entry fee for visiting the exhibition. Items such as mobiles, cameras, bags, match-boxes, cigarettes, beedis, tobacco, water bottles, any liquid, and any sharp/ pointed objects. During its run across the country, the Railway station of the respective city will be the venue for visiting the train. The timing for visiting the train is from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

BACKGROUND:

Science Express is an innovative mobile science exhibition mounted on a 16-coach AC train which has been custom-built for Department of Science & Technology (DST) by Indian Railways. This unique mobile exhibition was first launched in October 2007 by DST. Since then, it has made eight tours of the country, travelling about 1, 42, 000 km and exhibiting at 455 locations. Over its 1602 exhibition days, Science Express received an overwhelming response and 1.56 crore visitors. SECAS has become the largest, the longest running and the most visited mobile science exhibition.

Climate Change is an important environmental issue, with many short-term and long term impacts. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are not just global in scope and unprecedented in scale but they also more severely affect the poor and marginalized people. However, there is very little understanding about climate change and its impacts. The state-of-the-art exhibition on board the SECAS aims to create awareness among various sections of society as to how climate change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation.

Science Express, redesigned as SECAS, intends to contribute towards increasing understanding of the science of climate change, the observed and anticipated impacts, and different possible responses. The previous 3 phases of Science Express were rolled out as a joint initiative of DST and MoEFCC as ‘Biodiversity Special’ and showcased the myriad biodiversity of India. Thus it was rational to shift the focus to the theme of climate change, as it will affect the biodiversity of not just India but the entire globe as well.

Of the 16 coaches of SECAS, exhibitions in 8 coaches developed by MoEFCC. These exhibitions have been exclusively devoted to information, case studies and material related to various aspect of climate change, the underlying science, impacts, adaptation activities, mitigation solutions and policy approaches in a manner that is easy to understand and interesting for not just school students, but also the masses. Exhibits and activities have been put up by DST and DBT in other coaches.

Science Express Phase I to IV showcased cutting-edge research in Science and Technology being carried out worldwide. Phase V to VII was based on the theme of biodiversity and as ‘Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS)’, it showcased the rich biodiversity of India and its conservation measures. Phase VIII as ‘Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS)’ highlighted the global challenge of climate change.

SECAS II is a unique collaborative initiative of Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Railways and Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC). MoEFCC has asked Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to make a contribution to the initiative.

The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016. The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. The first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA-1) took place in Marrakech in November 2016. The Conference successfully demonstrated to the world that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is underway and the constructive spirit of multilateral cooperation on climate change continues.

The broad themes covered in each exhibition of the coaches are:

  • Coach 1: Understanding Climate Change – Insights in the climate as a system, the greenhouse gas effect and the underlying reasons for climate change with key message that the current change in the climate is due to human activities.
  • Coach 2: Impact of Climate Change -How temperature rise, monsoon variations, sea level rise are predicted to affect vital sectors like water, agriculture, forests and biodiversity, and human health and ways to reduce these.
  • Coach 3 & 4: Adaptation -Concepts of adaptation and examples from day to day life, adaptation strategies and stories from field. Adaptation options in urban and rural contexts and the adaptation actions India is taking.
  • Coach 5 & 6: Mitigation -Concept and definition with examples, emphasis on restoring balance, enhancing sinks and reducing emission through Renewable Energy (RE) technologies.Various programmes implemented by India and low carbon strategies andambitious goal to increase RE footprint.
  • Coach 7: International Negotiations for Climate Change -Introduction to UNFCCC, IPCC and internationally agreed action &targets. Explaining concept of equity and common but differential responsibility, Kyoto protocol & other key outcomes of major COP, Paris Agreement, etc.
  • Coach 8: Positive Actions -What can one do at school, on roads, at home and in offices and focus on concept of lifestyle choices with the key message ‘Increase your Handprint. Decrease your Footprint’.
  • Coach 9&10: Exhibition put up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India, covering themes like Biotechnology for bio-resources and nature conservationwith emphasis on Tiger Conservation and Chemical Ecology and India’s research and development initiatives in field of Biotechnology.
  • Coach 11: Exhibition put up by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) showcasing select innovations, demonstrating the ingenuity of common people and an innovative project which uses augmented reality techniques. Exhibition on themes like Innovations in S&T, Science Education, DST Scholarships & Schemes, Technologies for rural development, etc.
  • Coach 12: A Kids Zone has been set up for children from Std. 4and below to participate in fun-filled activities, games and puzzles in science, mathematics and environment.
  • Coach 13: The Joy of Science (JOS) Hands-on Lab in this coach is a space where students from Std. 5-10 can perform experiments and activities to understand concepts in environment, science and mathematics in an interesting manner. A training facility is also set up for orientation of teachers here.
  • Solar panels have been installed on the rooftop of Science Express coaches 11-13, as a collaborative effort of DST and CEL, for harnessing solar energy.

Schedule of Science Express Climate Action Special

February 17 – September 8, 2017

Sr. No. Station Exhibition Dates Sr. No. Station Exhibition Dates
1 Delhi Safdarjung(Flag off) 17 Feb 2017 35 Kottavalasa 20 – 23 May 2017
2 Delhi Cantt 18 – 19 Feb 2017 36 Gudivada 24 – 26 May 2017
3 Hisar 20 – 23 Feb 2017 37 Mirylaguda 27 – 30 May 2017
4 Dhuri 24 – 26 Feb 2017 38 Gulberga 31 May – 02 Jun 2017
5 TaranTaran 27 – 28 Feb 2017 39 Kalluru 03 – 05 Jun 2017
6 Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra 01 – 02 Mar 2017 40 Whitefield 06 – 08 Jun 2017
7 Udhampur 03 – 04 Mar 2017 41 Kengeri 09 – 11 Jun 2017
8 Nangal Dam 06 – 07 Mar 2017 42 Koduru 12 – 14 Jun 2017
9 Sirhind 08 – 10 Mar 2017 43 Puducherry 15 – 16 Jun 2017
10 Chandigarh 12 & 14 Mar 2017 44 Attur 17 – 19 Jun 2017
11 Rampur 15 – 17 Mar 2017 45 Karur 20 – 22 Jun 2017
12 Kasganj City 18 – 20 Mar 2017 46 Kodaikanal Road 24 Jun 2017
13 Khalilabad 22 – 25 Mar 2017 47 Virudhunagar 25 – 27 Jun 2017
14 Mau 26 – 29 Mar 2017 48 Arumuganeri 28 – 30 Jun 2017
15 Gaya 30 – 31 Mar 2017 49 Kayankulam 01 – 04 Jul 2017
16 Patna 01 – 02 Apr 2017 50 Guruvayur 05 – 07 Jul 2017
17 Kiul 03 – 04 Apr 2017 51 Kannur 08 – 10 Jul 2017
18 Sitamarhi 05 Apr 2017 52 Vasco Da Gama 11 – 13 Jul 2017
19 Samastipur 06 Apr 2017 53 Ratnagiri 14 – 17 Jul 2017
20 Salmari 07 – 08 Apr 2017 54 Mumbai CST 19 – 22 Jul 2017
21 Fakiragram 09 – 10 Apr 2017 55 Nasik Road 24 – 26 Jul 2017
22 Lumding 11 – 12 Apr 2017 56 Murtajapur 27 – 29 Jul 2017
23 Agartala 13 Apr 2017 57 Nagpur 30 Jul – 02 Aug 2017
24 Badarpur 15 – 17 Apr 2017 58 Amla 03 – 06 Aug 2017
25 North Lakhimpur 19 – 21 Apr 2017 59 Habibganj 07 – 09 Aug 2017
26 Rangpara North 22 – 24 Apr 2017 60 Bina 10 – 12 Aug 2017
27 Bagdogra 25 – 26 Apr 2017 61 Khajuraho 13 – 14 Aug 2017
28 Dhanbad 27 – 30 Apr 2017 62 Marwar 17 – 18 Aug 2017
29 Barrackpore 01 – 02 May 2017 63 Balotra 19 – 21 Aug 2017
30 Kalyani 03 – 05 May 2017 64 Deesa 22 – 24 Aug 2017
31 Chandil 06 – 08 May 2017 65 Bhuj 25 – 27 Aug 2017
32 Bhadrak 09, 11 & 12 May 2017 66 Bhaktinagar 28 – 31 Aug 2017
33 Puri 13 – 16 May 2017 67 Gondal 01 – 04 Sep 2017
34 Chatarpur 17 – 19 May 2017 68 Gandhinagar Capital 05 – 08 Sep 2017

The SECAS II will run from February 17 to September 8 2017, culminating its journey at Gandhinagar. During its journey, the Science Express will cover over 19,000 km, and will be exhibited at 68 stations across 20 states of the country. During this seven month journey, SECAS will roll into Tripura for the first time.

Science Express, redesigned as SECAS, intends to contribute towards increasing understanding of the science of climate change, the observed and anticipated impacts, and different possible responses. It is an innovative mobile science exhibition mounted on a 16 coach AC train, which has been custom-built for Department of Science & Technology (DST) by Indian Railways. This unique mobile exhibition was first launched in October 2007 by DST. Since then it has travelled across India eight times, traveling about 1, 42, 000 km and exhibiting at 455 locations. More than 1.50 crore people visited the exhibition over 1, 602 exhibition days. Science Express has become the largest, the longest running and the most visited mobile science exhibition. It has six entries in the Limca Book of Records.

The exhibition will convey a message about Climate Change and will also be a good opportunity to generate a dialogue and discussion. The state-of-the-art exhibition on board the SECAS aims to create awareness among various sections of society, as to how climate change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation. Exhibitions in 8 out of the 16 coaches of SECAS have been developed by MoEFCC. Exhibits and activities by DST and DBT have been put up in the remaining 8 coaches.

Some of the broad themes of the coaches include – Underlying reasons for climate change, with a key message that the present change in the climate is due to human activities; impact of climate change and ways to reduce it; adaptation strategies and adaptation measures being taken by India; mitigation and various programmes implemented; international negotiations for climate change and focus on concept of lifestyle choices on what one can do to “Increase the Handprint and decrease your Footprint”.

The exhibition is exclusively devoted to information, case studies and material related to various aspects of climate change, the underlying science, impact, adaptation activities, mitigation solutions and policy approaches in a manner that is easy to understand and interesting, not just for school students, but also for the masses.

The SECAS II is a unique collaborative initiative of Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Railways and Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC). MoEFCC has asked Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to extend support in the endeavour.

Science Express Phase I to IV showcased cutting-edge research in Science and Technology being carried out worldwide. Phase V to VII was based on the theme of biodiversity. As ‘Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS)’, it showcased the rich biodiversity of India and its conservation measures. Phase VIII as ‘Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS)’ highlighted the global challenge of climate change.

The previous three phases of Science Express were rolled out as a joint initiative of DST and MoEFCC as ‘Biodiversity Special’ and showcased the myriad biodiversity of India. Thus, it was rational to shift the focus to the theme of climate change, as it will affect the biodiversity of not just India, but the entire globe as well.

Queries on the visit to the exhibition can be sent through an email to sciencexpress@gmail.com, or contact the team aboard the train on 09428405407. The exhibition is open to all and there is no entry fee for the exhibition. The railway station of the city will be the venue of the exhibition. The timing of the exhibition will be from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.

Items such as mobiles, cameras, bags, match-boxes, cigarettes, beedis, tobacco, water bottles, any liquid, and any sharp/ pointed objects are not allowed on the Science Express.

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